Geithner's Rumors

As many expected, White House spokesman Jay Carney denied rumors yesterday that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants to leave the Obama administration. Referring to whispers that Geithner will depart after he secures an agreement to raise the debt limit (the deadline for an accord is August 2), Carney said he’s not aware of the treasury secretary having any such plans: “Not that I'm aware of, no. I think he will be here for the foreseeable future.” Representatives from both houses of Congress will be at the White House on Thursday to meet with President Obama about the budget.

Former Hugo Chavez ally Ollanta Humala is now the president-elect of Peru, and he’s headed to Washington to demonstrate his un-Chavez-like dedication to an American partnership. He’s scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon among others. While during his campaign he vowed to amend free-trade agreements with the United States and others, Humala is expected to stress the importance of the U.S.-Peru trade relationship.

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland joined the Syria-criticizing fray yesterday. She said, “We urge the government of Syria to immediately halt its intimidation and arrest campaign, to pull its security forces back from Hama,” referring to a city at the center of anti-regime protests. Nuland stressed the peaceful nature of the demonstrations.

News broke recently that a Somali man was held on a U.S. naval vessel and interrogated after his capture on April 19. The administration announced yesterday that the man, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsarme, who is accused of being a “Shabab leader” with links to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, will be tried in a civilian court. Warsame was brought into the United States on Monday and it wasn’t until then that we first heard of his capture. As Attorney General Eric Holder has learned over the months, there is strong congressional opposition to transporting prisoners from places like Guantanamo Bay and trying them in civilian courts.